As you know, last week Chris and I attended a private meeting in London of some of Europe’s most successful families and their family office executives. Because the meeting was held under the Chatham House Rule, I can’t divulge any names.
Will’s Family Matters
I got a number of responses to last week’s Family Matters about how to take advantage of great real estate deals. Member Michael L. writes: I owned and operated motels and hotels many years ago. This is what I refer to as “management intensive businesses” wrapped in the shell of “real estate.”
My family’s quarterly Investment Committee meeting is coming up in November. So I’ve been thinking about the agenda. Recently in these reports I’ve been talking a lot about family capital and how to allocate it constructively. But it’s the job of the Investment Committee to make sure that capital is protected and that it grows.
Last week, we looked how your family can set up a family loan pool…and why Dad and I think it’s a good idea. For family offices the family loan program happens through the Family Bank. In the Bonner & Partners Endowment Model the Family Bank is the only means of distribution from the trust.
Every family should have a lending program. Your family’s level of wealth doesn’t matter. In her book The Grandmother Principles, Suzette Haden Elgin lays out a simple plan for setting up such a program. Elgin suggests that such a lending program is the responsibility of the grandmother in a family.
Today, I want to return to a core family office concept: capital. Having capital – wealth that you don’t spend – is what distinguishes the rich from everyone else. That might sound obvious. But having capital…especially family capital…is different from just having money. Money comes and goes. Money can be spent and wasted. Capital cannot.